Sweet, soft, pillowy and addictive, mochi is like a marshmallow, but so much better. The popular Japanese sweet rice cake has become a dessert sensation in New York, finding its way into sundaes, pastries and even donuts. Here’s your guide to the greatest mochi desserts the city has to offer.
Mochi Mochi: Cha-an
The East Village teahouse serves several whimsical takes on traditional Japanese desserts. One of its standout creations is Mochi Mochi, which comes with two kinds of mochi: shiratama (mildly sweet) and warabi (more jelly-like), along with a scoop of hojicha (a nutty green tea) ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream and kuromitsu (black sugar) syrup. It’s a texture — and flavor — bomb in ice cream sundae form.
230 East 9th St. 2nd Fl.; 212-228-8030
Tiramisu Mascarpone Mochi: Dessert Club, ChikaLicious
From the outside, this treat from the ultra-inventive ChikaLicious Dessert Club looks like your average mochi. But take a bite, and you’ll find a light, perfectly fluffy tiramisu made with a tangy mascarpone base.
204 E 10th St.; 212-475-0929
Blue Fin's Tasty Mochi: Izi
The desserts at Izi — the new Izakaya-inspired spot in Times Square — are all super-playful (like a fortune cookie the size of your fist!). That also includes Blue Fin’s Tasty Mochi, a trio of bite-size seasonal mochi — right now the flavors are mango, lychee, and green tea — that each come topped with tiny gummy sharks.
1567 Broadway; 212-918-1405
Mochi Donut: Tijuana Picnic
This retro Mexican joint uses the sweet rice flour found in mochi to produce a donut that’s extra chewy and insanely addictive — it also happens to be gluten free. After it’s fried, the mochi donuts get covered in a tart yuzu glaze and drizzled with dulce de leche.
151 Essex St.; 212-219-2000
Early Grey Chocolate Mochi: Patisserie Tomoko
This Japanese dessert bar has earned fans far and wide in the food community, including the Milk Bar queen herself, Christina Tosi. The perennial favorite here is the Earl Grey Chocolate Mochi, whose fudgey chocolate center is made with chocolate ganache and infused with Earl Grey tea. It’s light, rich, dense and floral all at the same time. An added bonus: You can order it on Caviar!
568 Union Ave., Brooklyn; 718-388-7121
Raindrop Cake: Round K
The cult Japanese dessert (also known as Mizu Shingen Mochi) became an overnight viral hit when NYC-based chef Darren Wong dubbed it the “Raindrop Cake” and sold it at the Brooklyn food market Smorgasburg. The “cake,” served alongside roasted soybean flour and sugarcane syrup, is intended to be a “light, delicate and refreshing raindrop made for your mouth,” according to the website. As of April, you no longer have to wait until the weekend to eat Raindrop Cake — it’s now available all week long at Round K, a cafe in the Lower East Side.
99 Allen St.; 917-475-1423
Flickr/Kathy YL Chen
Matcha Affogato Sundae: Cocoron
The perennial favorite soba spot also happens to serve a mega-sized green tea sundae that comes topped with a trio of fresh mochi balls. The dessert is served with a chilled shot of green tea to pour on the sundae (pro tip: pour directly over the mochi, which will absorb the flavors nicely). For green tea lovers, there’s no better dessert.
61 Delancey St.; 212-925-5220